Daily Archives: May 3, 2017

I’d say Charlie Strong is the new Mark Richt…

… except Richt has never been accused of losing control over his players by a sitting judge.  Holy crapola.

I eagerly await Herbie’s reaction to this news.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment

“I would hope they would look favorably upon the fact that he is receiving a pre-trial diversion agreement.”

If this saves Riley Ridley from a one-game suspension, then we can say the Georgia Way has been Processed in at least one way.

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Filed under Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football

Misery is kind of miserable.

An old voice from the recent past:

“I think 15 years is a long time,” Richt said. “I think the expectations have been built to the point where if you don’t win a championship, it’s kind of miserable around here. When we don’t make it to Atlanta, I’m miserable, too.”

A current voice from the more distant past:

McGarity, who played and coached tennis at Georgia and worked in its athletic administration before leaving for Florida, said “there is nothing greater than being part of championships. That’s why we do what we do.

“At the end of the day,” he continued, “all the time you put in at the office, the fun comes when you’re competing for championships and you see what these coaches have done over a number of years to finally get to the top of the mountain and you’re able to be just a small piece of that.”

Another current voice from just the other day:

“What I can say to our fans is to first, look at our teams,” Morehead said. “I think with the exception of baseball, all of our spring programs are nationally ranked at this time, some as high as No. 3 or No. 4. If I remember the women’s tennis ranking. So overall, the state of our spring sports is that except for one sport in the top 25 in the country.

Georgia’s final Director’s Cup points and standings, 2015-6 edition:

  • Fall – 76
  • Winter – 407.50
  • Spring – 466
  • Total – 949.50 (15th)

Georgia’s current Director’s Cup points and standings, 2016-7 edition:

  • Fall – 101
  • Winter – 389
  • Spring – TBD
  • Total – 490 (22nd)

So much for looking at our teams, Jere.

I know this is a football blog and I’m wandering a bit from the main subject.  But after reading yet another infuriating article about an athletic department that, when it comes to management, apparently finds it impossible to walk and chew gum at the same time…

The NCAA tennis committee announced last week the sites for the next four championships and Athens wasn’t among them. Since it was already going to be held somewhere else next year (Wake Forest), that means we won’t see this storied event back here at least until 2023, and Georgia can’t be sure it will get it back then. It hopes to.

As one might imagine, for a school with a tradition-rich tennis history such as UGA’s is, this did not go over well.

“I was just sick to my stomach,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said of getting the news the morning before it was announced. “I couldn’t eat I was so disappointed. It hurt me to call Manny and tell him. That was a phone call I was not looking forward to. It’s just part of the disappointment. It’s unfortunate but we respect those who have to make these tough decisions.”

… After Athens hosted the tournament in 20 of its first 23 years, the NCAA determined that it wanted to move it around geographically to different regions of the country. And that has been the case to the most extent. Since Georgia won its last national championship on its home courts in 2007, the tournament has been held in Tulsa, Okla. (twice); College Station, Texas; Palo Alto, Calif.; Champaign, Ill.; and Waco, Texas.

After this latest bid cycle, the new hosts are UCF (twice), Oklahoma State and Illinois.

Those places all have one thing in common. They’re all have new facilities, or at least relatively so.

The newest and most significant player is UCF. The host site its two years, starting in 2019, is the new USTA facility in Lake Nona, Fla. It’s a state-of-the-art place with 100 outdoor courts – and six indoors. It’s so nice that former UGA player John Roddick, who was head coach at Oklahoma, left there to take over at UCF.

Oklahoma State just built a new facility and Illinois did for when it last hosted in 2013. So clearly facilities are a part of this deal.

“We understand there are new players in the game every year that have made commitments to their tennis facilities and that’s what the NCAA is trying to encourage others to do, to invest in facilities like we have,” McGarity said. “Some schools have done that, not many, but some have. These are things that you learn going through the process.”

Actually, Georgia was all set to go forward with a project that would either add two new courts to the Lindsey Thompkins Indoor Courts or tear it down and build a new six-court facility either at the Dan Magill Complex or out on South Milledge Avenue at the soccer-softball complex. But McGarity put all that on hold shortly after coming on the scene as AD in 2010. And then it got de-prioritized again after Georgia moved to improve its football facilities with the construction of the $30 million indoor practice building and now the $63 million stadium project to build a new locker rooms and recruiting lounge into the west end grandstands.

“We’ve been so focused on so many other things,” McGarity said. “At some point finances come into play. We’ve had to kind of prioritize things. Whatever we do (with tennis) is going to have to be donor driven. A final location has not been determined at this time.”

… I have to ask:  is there anyone associated with the administration of Georgia athletics who is committed to excellence?  For all the recurring crap some here gave Mark Richt for not being appropriately fixated on the cause, in that regard, he ran rings around the guy who fired him.  All Greg McGarity appears to be good for is feeling bummed out when things don’t go his way and claiming the buck stops at his desk without being held accountable by the man he answers to. As I keep saying, it’s one helluva way to run a railroad.

I’ll make a rare, non-football related prediction here.  Scott Stricklin’s record as Georgia’s baseball coach can be charitably characterized as disappointing.  Once again, there will be no postseason for Georgia baseball.  To fire him will call for payment of something like a $1.2 million buyout, though.  Bottom line — pun fully intended — he’ll be back next season.  You tell me what kind of commitment is indicated by that.

I’m not really sure how much longer I can give a shit about Georgia football.  I’m really not.

Oh, and speaking of commitment to excellence, Manny Diaz deserves better.  I shudder to think whom McGarity brings in to replace him one day.

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Filed under Georgia Football

I have seen the future of college football…

… and it’s not a pretty picture.

Spencer Hall’s “first thing, let’s blame the lawyers” essay on where to direct things is a depressing read, for many reasons.  If you’d just prefer a shorter, “ah, fuck this” version, an alert reader directed me to Patrick Hruby’s brief take on blowing the whole thing up and not starting over.

Have a nice day.

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Filed under College Football

“If you are not a top pick, your ass better play in the [bowl] game.”

For the studs, though,

NFL officials speak with a bluntness about this issues that offers a sharp contrast to the idealism and wistfulness of college coaches. When discussing Fournette for a feature a few weeks ago, NFL officials consistently chuckled at the notion of skipping a bowl game hurting his or McCaffrey’s draft stock. “He’s got a billion-dollar set of knees,” one personnel director said of Fournette. “What are you doing playing in a nothing bowl game?”

Added another personnel director after the draft: “I think you will see more top players do it due to the minimal effect it had on their draft stock. If a player’s team isn’t playing for a national title, why risk your future earnings? The NCAA isn’t paying them.”

Somebody needs to ask Bob Bowlsby about that.  I mean, Greg Sankey’s “Clearly, this makes one attentive in a brand new way,” is hardly catchy.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NFL Is Your Friend.

You can’t argue with the math.

Those of you who despise Georgia playing in Jacksonville annually with every fiber of your being are directed to read this post of Groo’s on the subject.  Basically, you can’t fight the money.

King also wonders whether market forces might compel a move back to campus. As schools face increased pressure to sell season tickets as more fans watch at home, they might have to consider improving the quality of home games. It makes sense – Florida on the home schedule would definitely make a season ticket more attractive. Neither Florida nor Georgia seems to be at that point yet – we’ve seen the empty seats, but the tickets are still – for the most part – being sold.

Let’s say that season ticket sales do fall off. It would take a precipitous drop to give up the cash cow that’s the WLOCP. With ticket prices $70 and up, Georgia’s share of the gate is already more than they’d make selling out a home game at normal prices every other year. That’s even before you include 1) the incentives and bonuses built into the new contract and 2) the fact that Georgia’s take in Jacksonville is pure revenue. The schools pay nothing to host this game and forego only concessions revenue. More, let’s remember that all neutral site game revenue is on top of what we’re already paying for season tickets. Georgia gets the Hartman Fund donations, season ticket renewals, *and* any revenue from neutral site games. It would take one heck of an apocalyptic fall in season ticket sales to upset that gravy train.

Rather than encouraging games on campus, economic incentives tell us to prefer the neutral site. Successful neutral games can command premium ticket prices, cost the schools nothing in terms of operating expenses, and will almost always come with a national TV audience. There might even be untapped revenue to be had. As neutral games go, the Georgia-Florida game is still a bargain. $70 will get you in the door in Jacksonville. Last season it took at least $85 to buy a UGA-UNC ticket, and of course better seats cost more. Prices for this year’s FSU-Bama, Florida-Michigan, and even Tech-Tennessee games are comparable or even higher.

The guarantees that come with these games easily eclipse the net revenue from a home-and-home with a comparable opponent. Michigan is walking away with $6 million for their 2017 opener against Florida. Again, that’s on top of whatever Michigan is bringing in from season ticket sales and priority donations. When Jeremy Foley talks about the “unique opportunity” of Florida playing in that game, he’s not talking about a chance to spend quality time with Jerry Jones. These schools might not have the sharpest knives in the drawer running the athletic department, but even they can do the math.

In an era of financial screw jobs, neutral site games are just one more way to stick it to the paying fan base, which seems more than willing to tolerate it.  As Groo asks in conclusion,

As for Jacksonville, until Georgia begins to take a noticeable hit from its own core fans about the quality of the home schedule, there’s just too much value in the neutral venue. If that backlash doesn’t happen with the rancid 2017 and 2018 home slates, will it ever?

I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

Neither fish nor fowl

Man, I love this smack.

… Lupoi then linked up with Saban at Alabama and started out as what Saban called a “recruiting intern.” It wasn’t long before he started paying off, bringing in the top recruiting class of 2016. Sarkisian was the top storyline of Alabama’s postseason meeting with Washington, yet it was Lupoi who was responsible for segments of the rosters of both College Football Playoff semifinalists last year. He also oversaw the recruitment of 2017’s No. 1 overall prospect Najee Harris and had a hand in bringing many of that top-ranked class’s best players. Cal reportedly almost hired him back as defensive coordinator this offseason, but he ultimately turned them down. They probably couldn’t have paid him $950,000.

Lupoi is certainly one of the best in the nation at his job, but his hefty raise also crystallizes a lot of what makes the NCAA scam so gross. Legislators arguing that paying athletes will cost them money, rich university presidents defending the sanctity of the “student athlete” model, and athletic directors flailing desperately to cling to their cushy gigs in the multi-billion dollar NCAA pyramid scheme are all perfectly illustrative examples of the sham of amateurism, but nothing feels as direct as a linebackers coach raking in nearly $1 million to convince high school athletes to come work for free at Alabama.

Now, before you get all riled up and say “amateurism sux”, you might want to hear Bob Bowlsby’s latest spin on college athletics’ employment structure.  It’s a real beaut.

One of major-college sports’ leading voices on Monday provided a different answer to the hotly debated question of the connection between college athletes and amateurism.

Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics: “I don’t think they’re amateurs. They’re college athletes.”

Bowlsby declined to get into a detailed discussion of how he defines pros and amateurs.

“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “You could write a book on that. But the professionals are being paid and amateurs are doing it for the love of the game. And both of those are different than the college athletic environment. …

“We typically categorize athletes as professionals or amateurs, right? And I don’t think (college athletes) are either. I think it’s a complete(ly) different genre of its own. Doesn’t exist anyplace else in the world where higher education and sports participation are linked, are co-curricular — and that makes it different.”

The NCAA’s next promotional campaign writes itself, doesn’t it?  “College athletics, brought to you by the NCAA — it’s just different.”

Even these guys know there’s too much money swirling around now to justify the romanticism of amateurism anymore.

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Filed under It's All Just Made Up And Flagellant, The NCAA